Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Thursday, 25 December 2008
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Monday, 22 December 2008
Boxing Day Ham
1 large unsmoked gammon joint
1 bottle of prosecco or sparkling wine
2 heaped tbsp of caster sugar
1 whole onion, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp whole cloves
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp treacle
100g/3 1/2 oz dark muscovado sugar
Place the gammon in a large saucepan and pour over the prosecco. Top the pan up with water so that the gammon is covered. Add the caster sugar, onion and cinnamon to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn the gammon over half way through cooking to ensure that it cooks evenly. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190C/375F and drain the poaching liquid (this is a good stock base for soups). Remove the skin from the gammon and score the fat underneath with a sharp knife in a criss cross pattern and stud with cloves. Mix together the mustard, maple syrup, treacle and muscovado sugar. Place the gammon in a large roasting tin and cover with the treacle glaze. Roast for 30 - 45 minutes, basting half way through. Allow to cool and then store in the fridge wrapped in greaseproof paper until you are ready to serve.
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Susan's Gloegg wine
1 bottle red wine
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp whole cloves
zest of 1 orange
100g/3 1/2 oz caster sugar
100g/3 1/2 oz sultanas
100g/3 1/2 oz flaked almonds
Place all the ingredients except for the sultanas and almonds in a saucepan and simmer over a gentle heat for 5 - 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the wine is nice and warm. Place a spoonful of sultanas and flaked almonds in the bottom of each of your serving glasses and ladle over the wine. Serve with a teaspoon so that your guests can eat the soaked fruit and almonds.
Thanks you Susan for the delicious recipe!
Thursday, 18 December 2008
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Friday, 12 December 2008
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Makes 6 jars
200g shredded or dessicated coconut
1kilo dried mixed fruit (sultanas, peel, raisins, currants)
200g glace cherries, halved
Juice and zest of 2 oranges
Juice and zest of 2 limes
3 apples, grated
300g caster sugar
250g vegetable suet
100g pistachios, chopped
Toast the coconut in a dry frying pan until lightly golden. Depending on the size of your pan, you may find it easier to cook in batches. Place the toasted coconut in a large oven proof bowl and add all the other ingredients. Stir well with a large spoon to make sure everything is mixed. Leave to stand for 1 hour to allow the flavours to develop. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 1/2 / 120/250/Aga Simmering Oven and place the bowl in the oven for one hour to allow the suet to melt, stirring half way through and at the end of cooking. Decant into steralised jars.
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Monday, 8 December 2008
I don't know where the days are going at the moment and I can't understand how we are just over two weeks until Christmas - I have to confess that I am not very organised yet! The recipes for my cook book are being photographed and at the end of each day I get sent the photos to see whether I approve - it is very exciting - especially when some of the cakes look even nicer than when I made them!!!! Look out for the coffee Battenburg cake - this is my favourite picture so far!
Friday, 5 December 2008
Cherry Frangipane Pies
Makes 20, preparation time 20 minutes cooking time 15 - 20 minutes
500g sweet shortcrust pastry
200g/7oz self raising flour
85g/3oz ground almonds
100g/3 1/2 oz glace cherries, chopped
55g/2oz caster sugar
1 tsp almond essence
icing sugar for dusting
Grease two bun tins with butter. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to 1/2 cm thickness and cut out 20 circles using a 2 1/2 inch cutter. Press a circle of pastry into each hole in the tin and fill with a spoonful of the mincemeat. Place the flour and ground almonds in a bowl, cut the butter into small cubes and rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips. Add the cherries, caster sugar and almond essence so that you have a soft dough. Place a spoonful of the cherry dough onto each mince pie and bake in a hot oven Gas Mark 5/190/375 for 15 - 20 minutes until the topping is golden and the pastry is crisp. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Monday, 1 December 2008
Nectarine and Coconut Cake
Served 6 - 8
Preparation time 30 minutes Cooking time 35 - 45
250ml coconut milk
100g/3 1/2 oz shredded coconut
225g/8oz butter, plus extra for greasing
225g/8oz light brown sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beatenjam
225g/8oz self raising flour, sifted
100g/3 1/2oz plain chocolate, grated
2 ripe nectarines, stones removed and thinly sliced
1 tbsp peach jam
1 tbsp lemon juice
Soak the coconut in the coconut milk for 2 hours until the milk has been absorbed. Grease a 20cm/8in ring tin.
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180°C/350°F. Whisk the butter and sugar together with a mixer or whisk until light and creamy. Add the eggs and whisk again. Add the flour, soaked coconut and grated chocolate and fold in gently to incorporate. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin. Arrange the nectarine slices in a ring on top of the batter and bake for 35 - 45 minutes until the cake is firm to touch and a knife comes out clean with no cake batter onHeat the jam and lemon juice in a pan until the jam has melted and then brush over the warm cake using a pastry brush. Leave to cool in the tin.
Friday, 28 November 2008
Monday, 24 November 2008
of more than burnt toast whose most recent post of Mexican Chicken Soup literally made my mouth water - I will definitely be making this. Rightly Bellini Valni has already received both of these awards already, otherwise I would have passed one back to her.
So now it falls to me to pass these awards on to the well deserving
Hard Working Food Blogger
Jonathan and Sarah at Around Britain with a Paunch
William Leigh at Theboydonefood - who has just been put in the top 10 food blogs by the times and is also writing a food blog for Hello Magazine - so pleased for you on both these counts Will
Katrina of Shes in the kitchen who has some truly scrumptions cakes on her blog
Marie at Oak Cottage - I don't know how you manage to turn out some many delicious recipes every day Marie - you put me to shame
and of course fellow Masterchef foodie David Hall - there is no other more hard working food blogger out there in my view
Gareth and Amy for their inspiring rid the debt story
Lucy of the Smallest Smallholding with lovely stories of country life
Tammy of Wee Treats By Tammy - who is a fellow lawyer and cupcake queen after my own heart
Joanne at Joanne's Food who shows that eating carefully can still be creative
and I Heart Cupcakes whose obsession with cupcakes puts mine to shame
Well done one and all!
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Welsh Rarebit-ish Sausages
12 chipolata sausages
12 slices of bread, crusts removed
125g butter, softened
125g cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
salt and pepper to season
Preheat to the oven to Gas Mark 5/190C/375F. Mix together the butter, cheese and mustard and season well with salt and pepper. Use a rolling pin to flatten each slice of bread. Spread a thick layer of the butter mixture onto each slice of bread. Place a sausage at one end of each slice and roll up so that the sausage is wrapped in the bread. Secure each one in place with a cocktail stick and place in a roasting tin. Bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes until the bread is golden brown and the sausages are cooked through.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Orange and Walnut Polenta Cake
Preparation time 30 minutes Cooking time 50 - 60 minutes
55g/2oz/heaped ¼ cup light brown sugar
250g/9oz/1 cup and 1 tbsp/2 sticks plus 1 tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing
2 large oranges
225g/8oz/1 scant cup caster sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
115g/4oz/1 cup ground walnuts
1tsp ground cinnamon
115g/4oz pre cooked grain polenta, cooked according to packet instructions
Grease and line a 23cm/9inch round cake tin. Grate the zest from the oranges and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar and 30g/1oz of the butter and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the caramel syrup over the base of your pie dish. Remove the peel from the oranges and cut the fruit into thick round slices, removing any pips. Place the slices in rings on top of the caramel sauce in the dish and allow the caramel to cool. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180°C/350°F. Using a mixer, mix together remaining 225g/8oz butter and caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs and whisk again. Add the ground walnuts, cinnamon and polenta and whisk again. Spoon the cake batter over the fruit and bake for about 50 - 60 minutes until the cake is firm to touch and a knife comes out clean with no cake batter on it. Allow the cake to cool, then invert onto a serving plate. Serve with cream.
These tiny cakes are just a mouthful really but are perfect as a sweet canape or for afternoon tea.
115g/4oz butter, softened
115g/4oz caster sugar
115g/4oz self raising flour, sifted
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 heaped tbsp lemon curd
1 heabed tbsp creme fraiche
155g/5oz icing sugar sifted
yellow food colouring
yellow and white sugar flowers
36 mini muffin cases
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180/350 and place the muffin cases in mini muffin pans (you can cook in batches if you only have one pan). Cream together the butter and sugar until light and cream. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each egg is added. Fold in the flour, lemon zest, lemon curd and creme fraiche gently with a spatula. Place heaped teaspoonfuls of the cake batter in each cake case and bake for 8 - 12 minutes until the cakes are golden brown and spring back to your touch. Allow to cook on a rack. Mix together the icing sugar with a few drop of yellow food colouring and the lemon juice to make a thick icing. Spread over each cake using a knife and top with a sugar flower. Leave the icing to set before serving.
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
When I was on Masterchef, my Grandma was sooooo proud and told everyone that she had taught me everything I know. Now although I am not sure that my Mum would agree with this (as she taught me everything I know), I certainly learnt a lot of cooking tips from my Grandma and thought that I would share a few of these with you now:
1. When you have cooked bacon, drain the fat into a tupperware box and store in the fridge. Cook scrambled eggs in a spoonful of this fat for the most delicious eggs ever.
2. Simmer peeled whole onions for 10 minutes and then add to your roasting tin with your roast. After an hour they have a delicious caramel flavour.
3. Grandma's Christmas pudding recipe is the best I know but I am of course biased - the recipe is here on an earlier post. I know that when we stir it and make our wishes this year, we will all be thinking of her
4. Roast halved red plums in the oven for 30 minutes with a few tbsp of water and a drizzle of honey. These are lovely hot with custard or cold with natural yoghurt. A super easy pudding
5. Rose and Violet creams are the food of the Gods - it was my Grandma who introduced me to these and I use rose and violet a lot in my cooking now so this is definitely down to her.
6. Grandma's rock cakes - these were scrumptious and made it into my book. I am so pleased now that the publishers have let me call them Grandma's rock cakes!
Monday, 10 November 2008
It has got me wondering what the difference is between a French Fancy and a Fondant Fancy - sadly Wikipedia has no listing for either. I imagine there is no difference but if anyone knows, I would love to hear!